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  #1  
Old 03-20-2010, 12:04 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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USS Arizona remains

In a show about the attack on Pearl Harbor, a National Park ranger said that the USS Arizona is the tomb for over 900 men. Do any remains still exist? Or have they been completely devoured by sea life?

Tangentally related question: A great uncle was Chaplain on Arizona. I've seen him referred to as Commander, but he was promoted to Captain five months before his death. Why the discrepancy?
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2010, 12:25 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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An unmanned minisub surveyed the Arizona in 2001, and operators reported they saw no remains. It is the opinion of the National Park Service (which administers the Arizona memorial) that they have decomposed.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:48 PM
Ronald C. Semone Ronald C. Semone is offline
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
An unmanned minisub surveyed the Arizona in 2001, and operators reported they saw no remains. It is the opinion of the National Park Service (which administers the Arizona memorial) that they have decomposed.
Does this include the skeletons?
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:37 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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It's certainly not impossible that remains still exist. You can see a lot of Japanese remains at Truk Atoll to this day.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:37 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Of their bones are corals made, and these are pearls that were their eyes.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:05 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Originally Posted by Ronald C. Semone View Post
Does this include the skeletons?
That is what I inferred. Skeletons are remains, and they said they saw no remains. It is possible there are skeletal remains in areas they did not survey.
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2010, 04:15 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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It's 30 years older but I don't think they found any remains on the Titanic. It's also at 15,000 feet under water.
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2010, 04:26 PM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is offline
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Would it not be possible if some were entombed in water tight compartments? I don't know if there was enough time for an order to seal any compartments to be given, but it's certainly possible.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2010, 04:40 PM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
In a show about the attack on Pearl Harbor, a National Park ranger said that the USS Arizona is the tomb for over 900 men. Do any remains still exist? Or have they been completely devoured by sea life?
I suspect there will be some remains within the hull - any inaccessible spaces or voids that silted up rather quickly could act to preserve the remains there. Remember: When they raised CSS Hunley they found remains from the crew there, in part because of how quickly it silted up. So, while no remains were seen by the ROV, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that there are some remains still within the hull.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:30 PM
Dahu Dahu is offline
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Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
It's 30 years older but I don't think they found any remains on the Titanic. It's also at 15,000 feet under water.
Not sure if I'm understanding this correctly, but wasn't the Arizona at Pearl Harbour and nowhere near 15,000 feet down?
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:31 PM
wedgehed wedgehed is offline
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
Would it not be possible if some were entombed in water tight compartments? I don't know if there was enough time for an order to seal any compartments to be given, but it's certainly possible.
It's worth remembering that some of the crew remained alive for days (or maybe even weeks) after the sinking.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2010, 06:55 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Originally Posted by wedgehed View Post
It's worth remembering that some of the crew remained alive for days (or maybe even weeks) after the sinking.
How was anyone able to verify that?

Anyway, I used to live in Schofield Barracks in the late 1970's, and I recall the Pearl Harbor tour, and someone asked a question of the guide while we were observing the broken ship from the floating memorial to the effect of "why don't they just go in there and get the bodies so they can be buried?" and the answer the tour guide gave was that the Arizona had continued to seep oil until that very day (still?) and that underwater "welding/cutting" would be potentially dangerous and wasn't worth the risk due to a potential explosion.

Is anything about that true? Or is it more a matter of the fact that Naval tradition and having sailors being in Davy Jones Locker or some such line of thinking that prevails?

Last edited by FoieGrasIsEvil; 03-20-2010 at 06:56 PM..
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2010, 07:54 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Is anything about that true? Or is it more a matter of the fact that Naval tradition and having sailors being in Davy Jones Locker or some such line of thinking that prevails?
It would be easy to drill and tap a hole for a spigot to drain the oil.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2010, 08:11 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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With today's technology the Arizona could be raised quite easily. But there is no reason to do so, and a number of very good reasons not to. The site is a memorial, and sacred ground (well, water). There is no more fitting interment place for the brave men that died that day than with their comrades in arms aboard the ship they defended to the end.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2010, 08:45 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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I can confirm that the oil is still leaking. At least, it was about five years ago when I was there.
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  #16  
Old 03-20-2010, 08:56 PM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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HMS Royal Oak (sunk 1939 in Scapa Flow) is still leaking oil as well. A lot of the oil was pumped out in 2006 and 2007.
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  #17  
Old 03-20-2010, 09:31 PM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
How was anyone able to verify that?
I can't say vis-a-vis Arizona. There were many reports of hammering from inside the capsized Oklahoma, that just petered off after a few days. Some of those hammering were cut out, but most were unable to be gotten out in time. It's not hard for me to believe the same sort of communications were heard from Arizona.

Quote:
Anyway, I used to live in Schofield Barracks in the late 1970's, and I recall the Pearl Harbor tour, and someone asked a question of the guide while we were observing the broken ship from the floating memorial to the effect of "why don't they just go in there and get the bodies so they can be buried?" and the answer the tour guide gave was that the Arizona had continued to seep oil until that very day (still?) and that underwater "welding/cutting" would be potentially dangerous and wasn't worth the risk due to a potential explosion.

Is anything about that true?
The oil leaking from Arizona is real. It's not an inconsiderable concern for anyone concerned about the environmental consequences if one of her bunkers collapses. As of last year, the Navy and the Parks Service have been mapping the hull to see what they can do about non-intrusively removing the oil. Personally, I don't see why simple drilling wouldn't be acceptable. I don't know that the oil would make for a hazard for underwater operations. I would think that the silt, poor visibility, close quarters, and unstable hull would all make removing any remains dangerous now.

Quote:
Or is it more a matter of the fact that Naval tradition and having sailors being in Davy Jones Locker or some such line of thinking that prevails?
Personally, I can't discount the possibility of that kind of tradition being part of the reasoning. Especially when we're talking about a site that is one of those sacred to the USN. However, I'd also say that there's also no compelling reason to put anyone else at risk to recover those traces that may remain. There will be a non-zero risk to the people doing the work, and I can't think of a single benefit that would accrue from doing that.

In which case, my feeling is: don't risk lives over something so pointless.

Last edited by OtakuLoki; 03-20-2010 at 09:33 PM..
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  #18  
Old 03-20-2010, 09:56 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smeghead View Post
I can confirm that the oil is still leaking. At least, it was about five years ago when I was there.
And the legend has it, when the last survivor dies, the oil will stop leaking. ooOOeeEEEOooo!
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  #19  
Old 03-20-2010, 10:01 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Originally Posted by Dahu View Post
Not sure if I'm understanding this correctly, but wasn't the Arizona at Pearl Harbour and nowhere near 15,000 feet down?

Bad wording by me - I did not mean to say the Arizona is at 15,000 feet. I meant to say the Titanic sank 30 years earlier and it is at 15,000 feet. Should not have said "also"
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2010, 01:16 AM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
It would be easy to drill and tap a hole for a spigot to drain the oil.
This is cold bunker it does not pump easily unless heated.
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  #21  
Old 03-21-2010, 01:22 AM
Snnipe 70E Snnipe 70E is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
With today's technology the Arizona . The site is a memorial, and sacred ground (well, water). There is no more fitting interment place for the brave men that died that day than with their comrades in arms aboard the ship they defended to the end.

Some of the survivors have had their ashes placed on the Arizona.
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  #22  
Old 03-21-2010, 01:26 AM
audit1 audit1 is offline
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Originally Posted by wedgehed View Post
It's worth remembering that some of the crew remained alive for days (or maybe even weeks) after the sinking.
This was not the Arizona. Three sailors were traped below decks on the USS West Virginia. They survived until December 23. Their bodies were found when the ship was raised and taken to drydock.

Last edited by audit1; 03-21-2010 at 01:26 AM..
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  #23  
Old 03-21-2010, 01:26 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I, too, can confirm oil is still leaking, but I never heard a story about that being why they could not get to any possible remains, and I lived in Honolulu for 2-1/2 years. Not saying that's not the reason, just that I've never heard that. But I think leaving them be is a fitting memorial, and if I were a relative I would not want the remains removed.

Last edited by Siam Sam; 03-21-2010 at 01:27 AM..
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  #24  
Old 03-21-2010, 02:31 AM
wedgehed wedgehed is offline
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Originally Posted by audit1 View Post
This was not the Arizona. Three sailors were traped below decks on the USS West Virginia. They survived until December 23. Their bodies were found when the ship was raised and taken to drydock.
There are accounts of tapping coming from the Arizona & Oklahoma also.
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  #25  
Old 03-21-2010, 03:19 AM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Bad wording by me - I did not mean to say the Arizona is at 15,000 feet. I meant to say the Titanic sank 30 years earlier and it is at 15,000 feet. Should not have said "also"
nitpick, 12500 feet [actually something like an average of 12500 and 12600, it is sort of spread out]

Yes, I have seen a few too many documentaries on the Titanic ... I was stuck in bed when the damned movie came out, and anything about the titanic was in infernally heavy rotation on the few tv channels we had at the time. did I ever mention that I have never seen more than a random 5 minutes of the freaking movie and I will go to my grave resolute to NEVER see the freaking movie...
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  #26  
Old 03-21-2010, 06:23 AM
Geek Mecha Geek Mecha is offline
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As of May 2008, oil is still leaking from the hull. I have a photo of the oil visible against the water in the memorial.
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  #27  
Old 03-21-2010, 11:16 AM
Mk VII Mk VII is offline
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Clearance divers entered the hull pretty extensively at the time, and at one point, under pressure from Congress, they did get orders to bring up such corpses as they had found floating inside the top of compartments. All had been decapitated in the course of the sinking and the hands had no flesh left on them, if the crabs hadn't eaten them off already. The bodies were in a disgusting condition, held together only by their rotting uniforms, dealing with them was extremely unpleasant and no identifications could be made. After the first session of this unlikeable task, orders were given to leave any further ones that were located down there, no matter what congressmen wanted.

See Lt-Cmd E C Raymer, Descent Into Darkness

Last edited by Mk VII; 03-21-2010 at 11:17 AM..
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  #28  
Old 03-21-2010, 11:24 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Just to be clear, I am not advocating removal of an remains or asking why they aren't removed.

I was just wondering if there are any remains left, or whether they have been completely consumed.
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